Tracking technology has been introduced across 193 Wolseley company vehicles with a view to improving customer deliveries, increasing driver safety and reducing fuel consumption by up to 10%.

The Masternaut Connect device, provided by telematics manufacturer Masternaut, collates data in real-time.

The driver’s behaviour is monitored through an in-cab light bar, which provides an alert when a harsh driving event is detected, allowing for instant reaction. Such events include rapid acceleration, braking and cornering, idling of the engine and speeding.

The tool has the facility to alert customers when their deliveries are a certain distance from the delivery location.

A distributor of building, heating and plumbing supplies, Wolseley UK has a fleet of more than 900 vehicles covering its branch network, which includes Plumb and Parts Center, Pipe Center, Climate Center, Burdens, Drain Center, Integrated Services and William Wilson.

Following a three-month pilot trial with the new Masternaut Connect system at a Drain Center branch in Tonbridge last year, the company has now rolled it out across a number of light commercial and licensed goods vehicles nationwide - 104 belonging to Pipe Center, 21 to Climate Center and 68 to Drain Center.

Feedback from the Tonbridge pilot demonstrated fuel savings of between 8 and 10%.

The company is continuing a trial on five vehicles at a Plumb Center branch in Wolverhampton.

Mike Crowley, transport development manager at Wolseley UK, said: “We are always looking for ways to enhance our customer deliveries while keeping our drivers safe and reducing our environmental impact.

“Masternaut has developed the next generation of telematics compared to what we previously had and was the obvious next stage for our branch transport.

“Over time, people may develop poor driving habits. This system is not intended as a tool to tell our employees that they are bad drivers, but simply to point out where they can make small changes to become even more efficient.”

Steve Towe, chief commercial officer and UK managing director at Masternaut, said: “Telematics has applications right across a business, and as we’re seeing with Wolseley UK, it provides the tool kit to create a more efficient fleet.

"By providing feedback to drivers, Wolseley UK can reduce speeding and harsh driving events, improve fuel consumption, cut emissions and improve driver safety.

"Telematics can also help measure fleet utilisation delivering long term and significant cost savings.”